Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Starlet by Mary McNamara

Juliette Greyson is the kind of can-do person who makes Hollywood run behind the scenes. An expert at smoothing out the ruffles of the stars when they stay at LA's swank Pinnacle hotel, Juliette just had to get away for a while. So, she headed for Tuscany, where her cousin runs the villa/farm they jointly inherited when their parents were killed in a car accident years ago.

Enjoying a coffee in town, Juliette is abashed to see Mercy Talbot, child star turned gifted and troubled femme fatale, climb a statue in the central square and prepare to dive into its fountain. Unable to keep from helping, Juliette scoops up Mercy and whisks her away from the papa razzi to the villa. Mercy is in the area making a film which has just retained aging-but-still-devestatingly-handsome Michael O'Connor, with whom Juliette had an affair in LA.

Thus author Mary McNamara sets the stage for her heroine's next adventure (Oscar Season was her first). Not many thoughts outside the Hollywood bubble occur to anyone involved, but The Starlet is fine summer entertainment.There's a little something for everyone in this one: love, gossip, murder. More of Juliette's troubled back story is revealed. Even if the rest of us can't relate to some of it (coming from a family with enough money to own a villa in Italy), there are elements that are understandable (drug addiction hits all social strata).

I was interested in this book because I love to look behind the curtain at movies being made. While not as revealing as a good "making of" DVD extra, The Starlet dishes up plenty in that department too. If any of these topics interest you and you're looking for a way to get away to Italy this summer without the airfare, I recommend The Starlet.

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